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In the extremely unlikely event the Avs don't land Taylor Hall, what are the options?

Colorado’s depth at forward is being tested (some might argue exposed) with the injuries to Landeskog and Rantanen. Losing two players of that caliber is never easy, but it is a bit shocking how much the team has struggled to score in their absence. I think this has a lot of fans wondering if the team is still one forward away from being truly and legitimately deep.

At this point, everyone knows the Avs are going to land Taylor Hall in a trade later on this year. While it may be a futile exercise, let’s just say something crazy happens and this doesn’t occur (maybe the Blues mortgage their future to try and repeat). What are the options that could be there in the off season?

Most of these guys are forwards, but I threw one defenseman in there. Getting him would probably result in Johnson being traded sooner than later, which is somewhat of a tough pill, but it could be worth it. Feel free to discuss.

UFAs

These guys would cost the team nothing but a contract, but there will be competition. Unlike prior seasons, Colorado is likely going to be viewed as a desirable destination. Maybe that helps, but it’s still likely that the team will need to pay a bit more than they want in both dollars and term. Be that as it may, here is the list of UFAs that the team might be interested in.

Taylor Hall: The big fish is still on the table until he isn’t. He’d cost a pretty penny, but it would be a perfect fit.

Projected contract offer: $11M for 7 years.

Mike Hoffman: He’s 30 years old (almost 31) and comes with some baggage, but he’ll probably be available due to that giant Bob contract. And while being older, the guy is still a 30 goal scorer who isn’t too shabby in other areas as well. Adding another sniper to the team is rarely a bad thing, and he’s probably the best one of those out there.

Projected contract offer: $7.5M for 5 years.

Evgenii Dadonov: Maybe Hoffman stays in Florida. If so, then I’m not sure how they sign Dadonov. This guy is underrated and capable of putting up 60+ points in any given year. He’s also on the older side, and quite frankly I don’t think he’s going anywhere. Like I said though, if Florida opts for Hoffman for any reason (e.g. he’s cheaper or negotiations are easier), then they won’t have room for Dadonov.

Projected contract offer: $7.5M for 5 years.

Chris Kreider: He’s big, he can skate, and he won’t be in NY next season. And while struggling at the moment, he’s a proven 50 point player. He’s also a couple years younger than the guys from Florida and is good in all zones. Much like Hayes, the plan would likely be for him to slide into a top six role with the later years being used as a defensive forward on the third line. My guess is that some other team overpays him, but he might be worth a shot if he’s interested.

Projected contract offer: $7.5M for 6 years.

Alex Galchenyuk: He’s only 25 and has put up some good numbers in his career. Somehow he still bounces around through and on his third team in his short career. Pittsburg will need to pay Murray next year, which means Galchenyuk will be moving again. In my eyes, he’s a 50 point guy who will score between 20 and 30 goals year in and year out. I don’t know why he hasn’t found a home, but I think he does in the offseason, and his youth relative to other UFAs make him a pretty desirable target, as he’s unlikely to decline much during the tenor of his next contract.

Projected contract offer: $7.5M for 7 years.

Tyler Toffoli: It has been a few years since he hit his peak, but Toffoli is one of those guys who could potentially benefit a lot from a change in scenery. At 27, it is unlikely that he doesn’t rebound if he finds himself on a better team, but that risk is certainly there. That said, with higher risk comes a more team friendly contract and a potentially higher reward, and a lot of his underlying numbers suggest he’s just in a bad situation. He could be a steal.

Projected contract offer: $5.0M for 5 years.

Tyson Barrie: No need to write anything, but feel free to discuss. I think he still owns a house here. Someone else may be living in it, but I think they have some things in common and might even get along pretty well.

Projected contract offer: $7.75M for 7 years.

RFAs

These guys would cost something to steal them away from their current team, either in a trade or through an offer sheet. That said, they are younger and therefore don’t come with the back-end contract risk that many of the UFAs do. Is it worth giving up assets and rocking the boat with offer sheets to go that route? That’s subjective. At the very least, it’s fun to think about though.

I separated these guys into a few classes based on how I view a team’s capability of matching an offer sheet:

Guys who can likely be had:

Ilya Mikheyev: My apologies to any Leafs fans that happen to read (or run) this Avs site, but this guy looks pretty good and I don’t know how Toronto can afford to match a reasonable offer sheet of say $4.25M over 5 years.

Cost: $4.25M for 5 years and a second round pick

Anthony Cirelli: Tampa can’t afford him. No way, no how could they match a reasonable offer sheet.

Cost: $3.5M for 3 years and a second round pick.

Guys that could be had, but it may be a little tougher:

Ryan Strome: While that Shattenkirk guy racks up points in Tampa and earns himself a nice contract starting in 2020, the Rangers are left taking a cap hit of over $6M for him as a result of the buyout. Ouch! If Kreider goes, which is likely, then maybe they can afford Strome and Deangelo. I’m not so sure though. At the very least, an offer sheet puts a lot of pressure on them and results in the team having to dump salary in order to keep things together. Is it worth it for Strome? Let’s see if he keeps up his current pace. My guess is no, but it’s worth keeping an eye on after his hot start.

Cost: $5.25M for 6 years, a first round pick, and a third round pick

Dylan Strome: He hasn’t been as good as he was last season, but he’s still a young player that has shown (at least briefly) that he’s capable of producing at a nice pace. Chicago is still overpaying Toews, Saad, Seabrook, and Keith, so they don’t have as much cap space as a bad team should. I think they would find a taker for Saad and match the offer sheet, but it at least screws with a division rival.

Cost: $5.25M for 6 years, a first round pick, and a third round pick

Kevin Labanc: He’s still producing in San Jose, and he isn’t taking another $1M deal if that team continues to be a mess. The Sharks got the best of the Avs in game 7, so why not get the best of them with Labanc?

Cost: $5.25M for 6 years, a first round pick, and a third round pick

Jack Roslovic: It hasn’t quite clicked for Roslovic quite yet, but many are high on him and there is reason to believe that things could fall into place. Who knows what happens with Byfuglien at this point. If things go bad though, it could be an instance where the Jets are paying him and still need to find a defenseman. That may mean Roslovic is vulnerable.

Cost: $3.5M for 3 years and a second round pick.

Long shots that probably aren’t worth discussing but are RFAs:

Matthew Barzal

Roope Hintz

The bottom line is that this team could get better and there are options out there. We’ll see how this list holds up over time, but I figured this would be a good distraction from the shitty results we’ve seen from the current group over the last handful of games.

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